BGIA count down to National Golf Month

Nigel Freemantle, chairman of the British Golf Industry Association, writes that the nationwide marketing of National Golf Month begins this month

As Chairman of the BGIA, it seems only right to open my column by congratulating my BGIA colleague and former chairman, Doug Poole, on receiving the prestigious PGA of Europe Special Recognition Award, which was presented at the recent PGAs of Europe Annual Congress Gala Awards ceremony. An ex-PGA professional, Poole’s career has spanned over 40 years within the industry, and during Doug’s leadership of Golfsmith Europe he supported the BGIA across a 16-year period, and shared the value of this partnership across the industry. Doug held the position of Chairman of the BGIA from 2010 to 2013, and he still plays a very important part within the BGIA as Project Director of the National Golf Month (NGM) campaign, which leads me to mention the imminent launch of this fantastic event.

Multi-media marketing

The huge NGM marketing campaign by Bauer Media starts in mid-March and includes national media coverage in many of their non-golf titles, as well as TV and radio play. The aim is to reach the lapsed golfers to entice them back to the game, or for beginners or to try golf for the very first time. The NGM team is almost ready to hit the ‘GO LIVE’ button on the website, which is where all visitors will go to find out which clubs are participating and what they are offering. We now have so many big names supporting this event, including Padraig Harrington as the face of NGM for the website and adverts, the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour, for which Solheim Cup star Charley Hull is fronting. This, along with all the Twitter activity, database mailing and advertising, will hopefully enable NGM to reach 28 million people.

Charley Hull

Charley Hull

The challenge we now have is to get a minimum of 2,000 golf clubs onboard with their offers, in order to satisfy the demand being created through all the media coverage. To find out how you can get involved, please contact Doug at:

douglas.poole@btinternet.com

Drying out

I feel I must touch on the dreaded subject of the weather and acknowledge all the clubs and individuals who have been so badly affected by the floods. I am fortunate not to have been personally affected but my golf club has, along with so many others. The devastation caused will take months if not years from which to recover, both financially and emotionally. However, sometimes such desperate situations cause us to think outside of our comfort zones and come up with ideas to keep the customers coming through the door. It’s been refreshing to see so many clubs taking up the gauntlet and offering their members everything from free club and set-up checks and shoe inspections, to enjoying a free coffee while watching coverage of the winter Olympics! Anything to keep people coming in and to keep momentum going in the right direction.

Provoking thoughts & action

I would like to close this month as I started it, with a message of congratulations, this time to GOLF RETAILING and its excellent Thought Leadership event, which took place at Hanbury Manor in December and in which I was a keen participant. The coverage of the event in the January and February issues has been excellent, and hopefully it has provoked some thoughts, ideas and discussions within the golf trade. I hope so!

www.bgia.org.uk